The DOE Evaluates Market Penetration of LED Lighting
By: Craig DiLouie

The DOE has updated its 2013 report, Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications. In the report, the DOE estimates 2014 energy savings achieved due to current adoption of LED lighting in 10 lighting applications and energy savings if all applications switched entirely to LED. The installed base of LED products increased in all 10 applications, more than quadrupling to 215 million units. Among these installations, 88% were in indoor applications, led by A-type lamps (36%) and directional lamps and luminaires (31%). For this installed base, the DOE estimated 2014 energy cost savings of $1.4 billion. If all 10 applications had switched entirely to the best available LED products, the cost savings would have been $49 billion.

The 10 applications studied include A-type, decorative, directional, small directional (MR16), linear luminaires, low-bay/high-bay, parking lot, parking garage, area/roadway, and building exterior. The DOE identified linear luminaires and low-bay/high-bay as offering the greatest energy-savings potential. Let’s take a closer look at directional lamps (e.g., PAR, BR, and R), small directional lamps (primarily MR16), and outdoor area/roadway luminaires as examples illustrating the kind of data that’s available.

The total installed base of LED directional lamps was estimated at 4% of the total 2014 installed base, taking market share from incandescent and CFL. LED is competitive in this group, with longer life and an average efficacy of 63lm/W among available products (as reported by the DOE’s LED Lighting Facts program), higher than 10 to 15lm/W for incandescent/halogen lamps and 35 to 45lm/W for CFL reflector lamps.

However, despite declining costs, at the end of 2014, the typical purchase price of an LED directional lamp was $21/kilolumen compared to $5 to $10 for halogen and CFL reflector lamps.

Small directional lamps have emerged as a strong category for LED. The installed base more than doubled to a 22% share of the total installed base in 2014, the highest of any LED category.

Average efficacy among LED M16s is 58lm/W, compared to 10 to 25lm/W for halogen MR16. As with LED directional lamps, costs have been declining but remain higher (about $40/kilolumen) than the incumbent technology (about $11/kilolumen for halogen). The DOE points to issues that need to be addressed to facilitate deeper market penetration—including dimming, thermal management, and efficiency.

Outdoor area/roadway applications were a strong early market for LED luminaires, which had achieved a 3% share of the total installed base in 2012. In 2014, the DOE estimates that this share increased to 13%, displacing high intensity discharge, largely due to project funding by local jurisdictions interested in reducing energy and maintenance costs. According to the LED Lighting Facts database, the average efficacy of area/roadway luminaires is 87lm/W and rated life exceeds 50,000 hours. The typical price of LED area/roadway luminaires halved from 2010 to 2014, reaching about $58/kilolumen, but was still substantially higher than $1.2 to $2.1/kilolumen for incumbent HID technologies. Find the free report at

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